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We tried reading a book using Serial Reader and it wasn’t quite the success we’d hoped for…


We recently read and, much to our surprise, completely loved Leo Tolstoy’s super-mega-famous Russian classic ‘Anna Karenina’. We were feeling totally smug about it (what? That sucker is over 800 pages long, ya know) and decided we quite fancied giving another Russian classic a go.

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We turned to trusty Serial Reader, a super cool app that breaks down classics into easy to read 10-15 minute issues that get delivered to the app for you to read every day, and picked one that was pretty short and sounded familiar: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes from the Underground’ (he’s the guy who wrote ‘Crime and Punishment’) and off we went!

We quickly subscribed the the serial, eager to read our first issue.

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It turned out to be a bit, well, weird. But whatever, it’s only 10 minutes right? We decided to go straight on with another one (if you buy the app for about £3 you can skip ahead and read as many issues as you like!) just to get a feel for the novel – you can’t judge something on 10 minutes of reading after all!

But we were still a bit lost. Rambly, philosophical and a lot harder to read than ‘Anna Karenina’ was, ‘Notes from the Underground’ may not have been the best book for people so new to Russian classics. But we persevered, reading one issue a day (with, admittedly, skipping a day or two ‘cos we couldn’t be bothered) until we sat down to read issue 8.

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At only 8 minutes we figured we might as well, so we opened it up with a sigh, read the first line and promptly googled reviews of the book and asked: ‘When does Notes from the Underground’ get good?’ Loads of people had said Part II was way better and more engaging than Part I and that we’d love it then. But we were already in Part II and so we put it down and read something else that evening.

When we came back to it the next day, we suddenly got weirdly furious at ourselves for reading something we’re not enjoying just to be able to say we’d finished. This revelation quickly turned into a triumphant unsubscribing from the ‘Notes from the Underground’ serial. FREEDOM.

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So we’re thinking maybe something Gothicky or creepy for our next Serial read. It is coming up to Halloween after all. What do you guys think?

Have you ever used Serial Reader? Tell us what you read in the comments below.

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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